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Fuerte Borgoņo

VIII Regiķn

Amongst the detention and torture centers that were used in Concepcion, there was Talcahuano´s Naval Base, the Rodriguez Brracks, the Stadium Francisco Acosta and Fort Borgoņo. The latter, situated inside Talcahuano´s Naval Base, was used as a torture center mainly during 1973-1975. There are testimonies from individuals detained there between 1984 and 1985 who were taken there by members of the CNI, after being arrested by this group. The fort was approximately 20 mt long and had no furniture, it usually kept between 40 and 50 detainees. Inside there were several rooms of 2 x 2 mt, which were usually occupied by tens of people. They had to sleep without warm clothes and directly on the concrete floor. The food was scarce and of poor quality. The length of stay oscillated between one and ten days, during which detainees were object of terrible tortures. From Borgoņo Fort they were taken to the Base´s Gym, where they were forced o sign a declaration stating they had not received any mistreatment. They were subsequently set free (on probation and controlled at all times), or they were taken to Tome´s prison or to Isla Quiquirina, incommunicated or not, after being forced to sign a declaration stating that they had not been tortured.

Testimonies presented to the Valech Commission point at the fact that all political prisoners were object of intense and systematic tortures. They were beaten up, threatened with death, submitte to the ´submarine´, hanged up, given electrical current, forced to run on a track filled with obstacles, handcuffed and blindfolded, forced to witness tortures to other prisoners, and submitted to sexual humiliations and repeated rapes. They also denounce that they were given the so called ´bell´, consisting of putting the detainee in a drum that was constantly struck. They were also hung up by their feet, with their hands tied to their backs in a premise called ´La Ciudadela´, being swung against the walls, making their bodies collide against the walls, where their torturers were, imitating the sound of a bell. They were also forced to walk on ´the carpet´, path little sticks buried on it, that they should step upon while being beaten. Another form of torture consisted of putting the head of the detainee in a bucket filled with dirt.

Fort Borgoņo is closely linked to the murder of a substantial number of political prisoners, among which we can find Transito Cabrera Ortiz, Hector Lepe Moraga, Miguel Catalan Febrero, Maximo Neira Salas and Hugo Candia Mirica, who were brutally tortured and later murdered by naval forces. According to the newspaper 'El Sur', Cabrera, Lepe and Catalan, died when "trying to escape" while being transferred to Tome's Prison. However, the person in charge at the prison stated that on 10th October 1973, when the three detainees arrived at Tome's Prison, they were dying, as a result of the tortures inflicted at Fort Borgoņo. The person in charge refused to meet them, and the officer in charge of the detainees ordered they transfer back to Talcahuano. Given that the three prisoners were in extremely poor physical conditions, the Government's version, which insists on them being killed while trying to escape, seems absurd.

On 13th October 1973, the newspaper 'El SUr' informed on its headlines that two 'radicals', Maximo Neira Salas and Hugo Candia Mirica, had been executed after attacking members of the Marines. Once again, it has been proved that this version of the facts was false. Both men were held back by the Marines at Fort Borgoņo, where they were brutally tortured and later murdered on 11th October 1973.


[Political prisoner arrested in September 1973] "...they put cotton on my eyes, then covered them with tape and threw a black hood over my head, tied to my neck. My feet and hands were tightly tied, and they put me in one of those 250l oil barrels filled with ammonia, urine, excrements and sea water, where I was immersed until I could not hold my breath anymore; my lungs could not take it either but yet they kept immersing me over and over again, along with blows and questions, that is their famous method of torture called the submarine..."

Criminals and accomplices

Admiral Jorge Paredes Wetzer (Commander of the 2nd Naval Zone); Captain Fernando Carrasco Herrera (appointed by Talcahuano's Governor); Commander Araya (Army); captains by the surname Blanlot, Bunster, Jaeger, Koeller, Acuņa; lieutenants Alarcon, Boetsch, Caceres, Letelier, Luns, Maldonado, Tapia, Schuster,

Information sources: Rettig Report; books "Political repression in Chile: the facts" "We remember you, Quiquirina", "Prison in Chile"; Newspaper 'El Sur'; Valech Report; Memoriaviva Archive

  Estas paginas han sido preparadas y son mantenidas por: Proyecto Internacional de Derechos Humanos - Londres Š 1996 - 2015